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Take care. Know the Medicare options for your parents and loved ones.

The Medicare Annual Election Period has begun!

Between now and December 7, 2018, Medicare recipients have the chance to review and change their coverage.

If you are helping provide care for aging loved ones, this is a great opportunity to go over the details of their plan with them and help them get the best coverage for their circumstances.

Right now, Medicare recipients can change coverage options and costs. They can also adjust their coverage to changes in their prescription’s drugs, and they can pick a new doctor or medical group. If you know of any changes to your loved one’s needs, now is a great time to discuss it with them.

At HealthCare Partners, we are happy to help you understand the process and make the best choices for your loved one. Here’s what you need to know:

Have your health or needs changed? Take our simple quiz to learn more.

First, make sure you know the main differences between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage so that you can review your loved one’s needs.

  • Original Medicare is also known as Medicare Part A and B.
  • Original Medicare does not limit out-of-pocket costs. The more care you need, the more you may need to pay.
  • Original Medicare does not include prescription coverage. Instead, you need to add a Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part D).
  • Medicare Advantage Plans place a yearly limit on your out-of-pocket costs for covered services. After you reach the limit, you pay nothing for covered services.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans may include additional options coverages such as prescription plans, vision, hearing, and dental care all in one single plan. You should be aware that additional coverage may come with additional premium cost.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans usually mean that you have to choose a specific medical group or primary care physician for your needs. This gives you access to the full range of health care providers who participate in the plan’s network. They may also offer out-of-network coverage with higher out-of-pocket costs.
  • Medicare Advantage plans typically have higher consumer ratings.

Second, find out which medical group has the best options. If you’re considering Medicare Advantage, ask:

  • Does the provider have locations that are convenient to your loved one?
  • Are you and your loved one comfortable with the group’s selection of primary care providers, specialists, and other health professionals?
  • Does the group offer additional services and care programs that help patients stay active and healthy?

You can find out more about the answers to these questions at the HealthCare Partners website.

Third, you are not on your own. There are many valuable sources of information to help you make the best choice.

  • Visit CMS.gov and Medicare.gov for more information about Medicare. You may also call 1-800-Medicare
  • Let us connect you with a licensed insurance agent who can help you understand your options. Call us at 866.475.7309 (TTY: 711) to get started!
  • Come to a HealthCare Partners information session

Take some time to understand the options. Give yourself the tools and information you need. We are here to help give you the information for you need to make the right decision for you.

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